Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Shaman Prays with a Trinity of Coca Leaves!

A trinity of Coca leaves is called a Kintu. For the Shaman (yatiri) a Kintu is a bridge, an offering, a means of lifting prayers up into the wind to be received by Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) then to be made reality.

Shamanic healing, ceremony, the sacred leaf and more Andean culture available in the forthcoming "SnowBlind in the Andes - Sacred Leaf to Cocaine Tourism"

For all of Mick Huerta's books visit

Copyright © Mick Huerta 2014. All Rights Reserved.
All Accordin' - Travel, Culture, Food & Drink!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pisco Sour Day with the Harley-Davidson Club of Peru!

The first Saturday of February is Pisco Sour Day, an annual celebration of Peru's National cocktail. And the very best place to take part in festivities would be one of the classic haunts of Lima, right?

Antigua Taberna Queirolo opened in 1880 was no-doubt perfect and conveniently located in the nearby Pueblo Libre neighborhood. We arrived by taxi to a packed house. The boom and bustle were infectious and uplifting. Thankfully many, many Limeños had the same idea and were only too happy to make room for us, as well!

That's when the thunder happened. A vrooom of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles converged on the Antigua Taberna Queirolo and a wonderful afternoon hit a new high! It was the best of times inside and out front of the tavern! If in Lima the first Saturday of February make the most of Pisco Sour Day and enjoy it like a local, with a Pisco Sour in hand! However, you'll need to bring your own Harley!

Copyright © Mick Huerta 2014. All Rights Reserved.
All Accordin' - Travel, Culture, Food & Drink!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Last Opportunity to Fly in a Winter Blue Sky! Spirits UP! Top down!

Perhaps yesterday was last opportunity to fly in a winter blue sky! Top down, bundled and heater on high the afternoon was periwinkle perfect ... the reactions received from motorists and pedestrians ranged from disbelief to replete with whimsy. Many thanks to those of you who waved or snickered. I enjoyed you, too... and hope that there's one more lovely afternoon of serene skies before the year's through. Just does my spirits good to fly in skies of blue.

Copyright © Mick Huerta 2014. All Rights Reserved.
All Accordin' - Travel, Culture, Food & Drink!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Global Warming

In dried form, Habaneros cost $18.99 a pound in a little local Latin market. And being habaneros are rated at 100,000–350,000 on the Scoville Scale, my .38 cents worth (pictured above) will do wonders for global warming. Even rubbing my eye while taking this photo can't deterred me from saying, "Hot stuff, can't get enough." As an example of my mania, I put dried habanero in a small pepper mill I carry when traveling. It's the only way of insuring I can get my personal fill of global warming no matter where I roam...

I encourage you to drop into ethnic markets in your neighborhood. Find out what surprises they have in store for you. Imagine what just .38 cents did for me. 

Copyright © Mick Huerta 2014. All Rights Reserved.
All Accordin' - Travel, Culture, Food & Drink!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Greeting the Sky - "HotList: South America" by Mick Huerta

A true wonder; the Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat, spanning 10582 km2 (4086 m2) located in southwest Bolivia. This is but one of the marvels playfully revealed in the photo-driven guidebook "HotList: South America" by Mick Huerta. "Go and know the best!"

Copyright © Mick Huerta 2014. All Rights Reserved.
All Accordin' - Travel, Culture, Food, Wine!

Photo credit: 1st image: Andrea Zoccoli. 2nd image BoliviaBella

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Quick and Easy - L'ail confit (garlic confit)

L'ail confit (garlic "con-fee") just in time for a change of seasons, even though handy any time of year. It's the "Quick and Easy" way of handling garlic and using it immediately in a large variety of recipes...

L'ail confit (garlic confit) 

1 cup fresh garlic cloves, peeled
Thyme sprigs (or Herbes de Provence)
2 bay leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & peppercorns to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and cover with oil. Bring to a slight simmer over low, low heat and cook until the garlic is golden, do not brown, approximately 40 minutes. Allow garlic and olive oil to come to room temperature while in sauce pan. Remove bay leaves and puree if you like. Keeps well in refrigerator.

As pictured I use an enamel camp cup, more vertical than horizontal. Makes for an easy move from stove top to storage in refrigerator. 

Garlic confit has a smooth cooked taste making it perfect for salad dressings, sauces, soups and marinades...

Copyright © Mick Huerta 2014. All Rights Reserved.
All Accordin' - Travel, Culture, Food, Wine!

Friday, September 19, 2014

The State of Mexican Food

Over the weekend, a recent arrival to Utah asked all BBQ guests in attendance “Where can I find real, authentic Mexican food in Salt Lake City?” In a flurry came suggestions from mom-and-pop locations to slick joints that dot the entire valley. I merely asked, “Where are you from?” “Colorado!” “So you’re looking for Colorado-Mex then?” “No, just authentic Mexican!”

Umm, authentic? Traveling Mexico teaches us that much like France or Italy all food is regional. So there can be no one authentic expression of a nation’s food, ever. No matter how hard we try to make a cliché out of a stereotype, you’ll not eat authentic. Yes it’s true that spaghetti, Quiche Lorraine and spring rolls are good starting points. But eating a cliché is not going to get you closer to what a cuisine is all about. Four thousand years of Chinese culinary history represented by day-glow Sweet & Sour Chicken is a disappointment. The Greeks, who taught the Mediterranean how to cook, really do offer much more than a Gyro (yeero). And Japan’s kitchen is undoubtedly more than a California Roll, etc.

Ponder Tex-Mex border fusion, then New Mexico’s mix of Spain, Mexico and indigenous sensibilities and then quickly skip to light, calorie conscience Cali-Mex. From the United States of Mexico to the USA, every plate is transformed into what the customer is willing to buy and happily consume. The story of a local Mexican restaurateur comes to mind who sold two Carnitas plates to-go. In the parking lot, the customers opened the containers and came storming back to complain about disgusting lumps of fat which turned out to be beautifully cooked plantain to pair with pork. One culture to the next, all foods must be translated or at least explained. Perhaps the above fiasco is an example of being all too authentic?

Continuing with the inquiry I asked, “What’s your favorite Mexican food?” “A Smothered Burrito! In Durango they do them the best!” “Man, have I got a restaurant for you! La Frontera is the bomb and they've several locations!” My brother, Joe Huerta, added his new funky fave is Chunga’s 180 S.900 West. Other’s felt free to share, too; Red Iguana! Tres Hombres on Highland Drive, taco carts downtown! Taco Time! TACO TIME? Came a reaction of genuine surprise.  “Ah, those crispy-fried bean burritos are killer!”

Lesson here is that if you enjoy it, it’s well worth sitting down and enjoying it to the fullest. No matter the version or from what state in the U.S. or Mexico it hails. One point of caution; Best to carry your own hot sauce cuz’ anything that you can squeeze out of a fast-food packet is not salsa! Asi es, amigos mios!

Copyright © Mick Huerta 2014. All Rights Reserved.
All Accordin' - Travel, Culture, Food, Wine!

Photo credits -
Achiote paste ingredients: Paul Goyette -

"Tortas Oaxaquenas" by nsaum75 / Wikimedia Commons
GrilledChickenZaachila: AlejandroLinaresGarcia